Acting Administrator John Barsa’s Remarks for Rohingya Donors Conference

Speeches Shim

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Good morning. I’m John Barsa, the Acting Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Rohingya refugees from whom we just heard convey why we’re all here—we know how important it is to meet the needs of the Rohingya.

The Government of Bangladesh has been integral to ensuring the safety and well-being of the Rohingya. I can’t overstate our gratitude.

And we are thankful for our decades-long friendship with Bangladesh.

In fact, USAID is in the process of finalizing a five-year strategy with Bangladesh. A large part of that strategy is focused on the regions we’ve talked about today—Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban. Together, we plan to accelerate development and strengthen the resilience in these two regions.

For example, in concert with the private sector, we’ve been working with farmers in Cox’s Bazar to build capacity and support in the face of resource shortages. And we’re also providing upgrades to maintain safe drinking water in the area—which has diminished the incidence of water-borne diseases.

As we’re all aware, there are other situations unfolding in the region that we can’t afford to put on the backburner. The ongoing pandemic, monsoon-related flooding, and Tropical Cyclone Amphan are all compounding shocks. We have to keep focused to respond to them all while continuing to focus on the Rohingya crisis. In the midst of these challenges, USAID stands with all of you to continue to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of displaced Rohingya.

We know our great partnerships with the State Department, implementing partners, and key regional bodies will ensure that these actions will be carried out successfully.

I look forward to continuing these relationships—so people of all nations and religious and ethnic backgrounds have the right to safe, healthy, and prosperous lives, all while making the world a safer, more stable place for America and our allies.

Thank you. I now welcome State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam to deliver Bangladesh’s statement. Mr. Minister, the floor is yours.

Last updated: November 04, 2020

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